Jakarta – A pedestrian bridge near the heart of the capital Jakarta on Jl. Sudirman has a new, surprising look: it no longer has a roof.
Jakarta Bina Marga road agency head Hari Nugroho said the roof of the bridge had been removed so that pedestrians could enjoy the view while walking.
"Other countries have done this, too. So the pedestrian bridge is not only for crossing the road but also for enjoying [the view]," Hari told detik.com on Tuesday, "Crossing means enjoying the view of Jakarta."
The bridge connects the pedestrian area in front of Wisma Bumiputera and Astra Tower in Central Jakarta. While other pedestrian bridges in the area have a Transjakarta bus station, this one in particular does not.
A number of pedestrians welcomed the new look, saying that they were happy with the change. "This is good for taking pictures, especially for wide angles," said Acep, who works in the area.
However, the lack of a roof has also drawn concerns, kompas.com reported.
"I love that we can have a great view, it looks so different. But people are right; we'll get drenched under the rain and it will be hot during certain hours," said Riswito of Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, who tried crossing the bridge on Tuesday.
The move to dismantle the roof of the bridge came after the Jakarta administration renovated a number of footbridges in the capital, including one by the Senayan traffic circle and another in front of the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex, both of which were designed with embellishments that the city officials dubbed as "Instagrammable" bridges.
Some Twitter users, however, are baffled by the city administration's decision to knock down the roof.
Commenting on a statement made by Bina Marga, @ObiWan_Catnobi said, "Well, none of these developed countries are located in the tropics. None have 38 Celsius degree weather. There is also no sudden downpour."
Another user compared Jakarta to Singapore. "While our neighboring country is building a 200 kilometer sheltered walkway, Jakarta is dismantling its bridges' roofs. Bye, fellow pedestrians. Let's get drenched and scorched," said @nobitaro.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) says the country will enter the rainy season in November. According to the BMKG, the nation will experience extreme weather in November and December before the rainy season peaks in January and February.
Another user, @ko2w, took a jab at the Jakarta administration. He tweeted, "Removing the roof of a pedestrian bridge, closing the transparency of the regional budget."
He referred to the administration's regional budget brouhaha, which stirred public debate last week for including Rp 82.8 billion (US$5.9 million) to purchase multipurpose glue supposedly for schoolchildren. The draft 2020 budget, which was supposed to be uploaded for the public on apbd.jakarta.go.id, is now unavailable. (dev)